10 things every beginner blogger should know. (And things I wish I’d known)

1. Don’t bother settling on a niche up front. You’ll probably change it.
Oh I had goals, so many goals. My dream blog was one focused on graphic design and art, but once I started blogging, I found there was a huge market and lots of space to grow in the geek and kawaii niche. Plus I was way more passionate about it. I ended up flip flopping a bunch and then finding my home after about 6 months of blogging.

2. Blog. Your. Passion.
This will seriously make your blogging life so much easier. People can see through phony enthusiasm with astonishing superhero X Ray vision. Blog the thing you find yourself rambling about. Blog the things you are constantly looking up online. Check your last 10 Google searches for inspiration.

3. Learn to use PhotoShop, or find a decent photo editor to make cute and custom blog graphics.
Each post needs a picture. Pictures bring a blog to life. Hell, buy a decent camera and take original photographs for your blog. Even a newer iPhone or Droid takes pretty decent pictures. I use the Samsung Galaxy S4, and its 13MP camera is astounding.

4. Make blog buddies.
No one should sit alone in the cafeteria,  and no one should blog alone. Find a blogger you admire, particularly on your blogging level, in your niche, and pal up. Blog friends inspire you, and encourage you to post. And hell, maybe you can get those rad BFF necklaces.

5. Not everyone is going to love your blog, or even know it exists.
Be prepared for apathy, or worse: trolls and bitches. Your blog is like your baby, and it can be hard to believe someone doesn’t know about it, even after all your tweets. And chances are,  someone doesn’t really like it! Remember: Blog for you first, and the people who love your blog second. And just remember…

Haters gonna hate.

6. Go to blogging events.
Even if the people are not in your niche,  they are all familiar with, or experts in this medium.  Blogging is a fine art that balances writing for the Web, time management, social networking, and quality digital image use. You could learn a lot at a blogging event, and you’ll be surprised how buzzed up you become afterwards, itching to post again.

7. Er mah gerd. Hershtergs. Take advantage of them for every post you make.
Well… hashtags, anyway. Using hashtag friendly social networks like Instagram, Tumblr and Twitter, can score you relevant traffic, simply by posting a fab looking image with relevant hashtags.

8. Don’t sell out.
Thinking of throwing ads and affiliate links all over your site?  Calm your tits. Respect your audience, your readers, your life blood! There is a good chance spammy links will scare away your best reader. Instead, offer minimal and tactfully placed, relevant ads. And make sure you alert your readers to them. I hate accidentally clicking on deceptive ads cloaked as content.

9. Have a giveaway!
It feels so great to win something, doesn’t it? Don’t be afraid to give away something relevant to your site… and that you yourself love. It’s a great way to get a new blog some traffic, and show a product that might clue people in to what your blog will be about.

10. Don’t be discouraged by low traffic and low interaction.
It took me nearly a year or two of building up my brand and content, before I started slowly building a steady audience. Don’t be discouraged by low numbers: remember, you’re blogging for you first. If you post it, they will come.

Featured image from mfpost.com

22 thoughts on “10 things every beginner blogger should know. (And things I wish I’d known)”

  1. Y’know, I’ve never settled into a niche, and I think I’m okay with that. I’ve toyed with having a second blog for years, something more specific to what I like to do… but then I always go back to my daily-life type things. I figure my mom is my audience and write to that. Maybe not aiming very high, but it works for me.

  2. I’ve been sitting here, staring at the blank template of my blog for weeks–months, really–as I try to figure out how to get started. This is why you’ve remained my biggest inspiration in the realm of blogging, and why I’m finally going to jump in. I’ve been so obsessed with making sure that the brand is perfect, first, that I forgot that I could actually grow into something through the experience.

    Methinks it’s finally time to just hit “post”.

      1. Oh god, once I have a kitchen I can actually UTILIZE again, I’m going to go crazy with cooking. Especially since I’m horrid in the kitchen and I may as well help other folks become not-horrid.

        I felt like I really needed a set focus, since I wanted to talk about my own art and life along with my geeky loves, but there’s no reason why I can’t do both and just see what comes of it.

  3. I love this post! Any advice for #4? (Make blog buddies.)
    I have lots of YouTube buddies but they don’t blog.
    Also, blogging communities tend to be filled with mostly just blog post links and no real discussion.
    Any better ways than just commenting on their posts with: ‘Wanna be my friend?’
    (I feel like I need a guide into the community/world of geekey lifestyle bloggers)

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